Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Larry Nassar was stabbed in his own cell and attack was not picked up on camera, report says

Stabbing of disgraced former USA Gymnastics coach occurred in a blindspot in his cell

Bevan Hurley
Thursday 13 July 2023 11:49 BST
Larry Nassar pleads guilty on sexual assault charges

Larry Nassar was stabbed in his prison cell in a blindspot not covered by surveillance cameras, a new report claims.

The former US women’s gymnastics doctor, 59, suffered serious injuries after he was stabbed in the neck, back and chest by a fellow inmate armed with a makeshift weapon at the high-security United States Penitentiary Coleman in Florida on Sunday.

A source told the Associated Press that prison cameras only record common areas and corridors, and that Nassar’s stabbing had been an “unwitnessed event”.

Guards performed life-saving measures on Nassar before he was taken to hospital, where he is in a stable condition after suffering a collapsed lung, the AP reported.

Nassar’s stabbing came weeks after a bombshell report described chronic failures by the Bureau of Prisons over the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein in 2019, and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s suicide at a North Carolina federal medical centre.

A scathing report by the Department of Justice’s Inspector General found negligence, misconduct and poor job performance by corrections officers had enabled Epstein to take his own life at a Manhattan detention facility while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking.

Larry Nassar at his 2017 sentencing for sexually abusing young female athletes in his care (Associated Press)

In response to the report, Bureau of Prisons Director Colette Peters pledged to change hiring practices and end systemic abuse and corruption.

At the time of the attack on Nassar, two guards were working mandated overtime shifts due to low staffing levels, a source familiar with the incident told the Associated Press.

USP Coleman II, where Nassar was incarcerated, has 1,200 inmates and staffing guidelines state it should have 222 correctional officers. However, records obtained by the AP show that only 169 officers are currently employed there.

The former USA Gymnastics team doctor is serving between 40 and 175 years in prison for sexually abusing young female athletes in his care and possession of child pornography.

He was previously assaulted at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, in May 2018 within hours of being placed in the general population.

Last month, the release of a trove of 4,000 pages of documents related to Epstein’s death revealed the disgraced financier wrote to Nassar weeks before his death.

The letter was found returned in the jail’s mailroom weeks after Epstein’s death.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in